One of the UK’s most distinct and celebrated districts, The City of London remains the beating heart of the capital. Not only home to the Bank of England and the Stock Exchange, it’s also a hub of technical innovation, fine dining and world-famous landmarks.
Situated right on the Thames, it was originally founded by the Romans, only to then be invaded by both the Vikings and the Normans, before becoming the very first urban centre in Britain’s history. So, in celebration of one of London’s most dynamic neighbourhoods, we’re going to take a look at some of its must-see attractions:
Here are our recommended green spaces and activities to visit in the area:
A visit to Tower Bridge is like stepping back in time to Victorian London. For the uninitiated, the views from the high-level Walkway and Glass Floor are liable to take your breath away, presenting an incredible vista across the river and the city beyond. Meanwhile, a visit to the Engine Rooms means being up close to the mighty steam engines that once powered the Bridge Lifts. Once there you can learn about the unsung heroes who kept the bridge operational all those years ago. A defining London landmark, there’s guided tours and a range of activities for all the family to enjoy, making this a really special day out.
The Barbican is the largest performing arts centre in Europe, internationally renowned for its diverse and cutting-edge music, theatre, art and cinema. Also home to a library, a series of excellent restaurants and a conservatory, it’s a place to immerse yourself in all the best contemporary culture has to offer. From the BBC Symphony Orchestra to Jesus Christ Superstar, the Barbican has an uncanny ability to cater to all tastes, whilst inspiring its guests to explore a dynamic range of works from around the globe. British inclusivity at its very best.
Featuring an extensive array of high-end shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars, Leadenhall Market is situated right at the heart of The City of London. Operational since the 14th century, the Victorian arches still on view today provide a one-of-a-kind atmosphere that's unlike anywhere else in the city. In fact, so spellbinding is its interior, scenes from the Harry Potter films were shot here, keen to capture it in all its glory. What’s great is that you’ll find much more than just amazing shopping opportunities, but also guided tours and a range of lively, interactive activities.
The Silver Vaults
Beneath iconic Chancery Lane is London’s Silver Vaults, a remarkable underground shopping destination unlike any other. Here, visitors can browse the secure premises of hundreds of silver dealerships, taking in an amazing collection of antique and modern silver, coupled with a range of exclusive jewellery. For generations, the vaults have attracted royalty, Hollywood movie stars and clandestine buyers, all seeking to unlock its many hidden treasures. From silver tableware, cutlery, gifts and rare collector's items, this exclusive destination has been in business since 1885, and, in many ways, it remains as mysterious and enticing to this day.
Food for thought:
Our top spots to wine and dine in City of London:
Galvin La Chapelle
Of the many local restaurants that can boast a Michelin star, Galvin La Chapelle remains a true standout. Housed in a genuinely historic building on the edge of Spitalfields Market, the food is, thankfully, as impressive as the surroundings. The menu takes superb French dishes, infusing them with a British sensibility to create something accessible, unique and extremely comforting.
If the very best in Spanish cuisine sounds like something that might be of interest, Jose Pizarro provides authentic tapas that are hard to beat. With a huge terrace and a range of gin-and-tonic combos that go above and beyond, it’s still the quality of food that brings people back time and time again. The prawns a la plancha, just for instance, is a dream of Spain made real. Quite simply, some of the best tapas in town.
It’s in the name, but Angler remains home to the best seafood anywhere in London. Situated on the seventh floor of the South Place Hotel, this outstanding restaurant overlooks some truly historic parts of the capital. The menu, however, is a wonderfully modern take on everything from Monkfish to Scallops. They also provide a range of exceptional wines, carefully selected to accompany each dish, enhancing the experience until it becomes something absolutely exceptional.
Duck and Waffle
If you’re looking for a great view as you eat, Duck and Waffle is positioned at the top of the iconic Heron Tower. However, the incredible vista doesn’t come at the expense of the food, which is world-class. An abundance of small, Mediterranean plates - including ox-cheek, grilled octopus and goat kofte - are to die for. However, the real draw is, of course, the duck and waffle. Elevated modern dining at its finest.
The City is served by numerous fast and effective transport links, including Liverpool Street, Bank and Monument, Moorgate and St Paul’s. Effective bus, walking and cycle routes are also available, making this one of the city’s most accessible districts.
Education and Business:
Home to an array of excellent schools, colleges and universities, The City can lay claim to institutions as lauded as the London School of Commerce, the David Game College and Charters. Also the capital’s financial epicentre, in recent years it’s become a staple for big tech, who’re helping to drive the economy, keeping London competitive, innovative and a force to be reckoned with on the international stage.